Tag: Williams to Nets

NBA London 2011 -  New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors

Avery Johnson says only thing he can: Nets will keep Deron Williams

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Avery Johnson and the Nets organization have made their bet — they must convince Deron Williams to sign an extension with the team.

Williams can opt out in the summer of 2012. The Nets traded significant assets to Utah to bring D-Will in, they have to keep him. They have to get talent around him, they have to keep him happy.

Johnson said the Nets can do that, according to the Bergen Record. Of course, he admits that’s the only thing he can say.

“I have no doubt and I’m really, really confident that we’ll be able to re-sign him,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said after practice Wednesday…

“What am I supposed to say, I’m leery?” Johnson said. “All signs that I’ve seen and heard are that as we move forward, he’ll be in a Nets’ uniform.

“Down the road if that changes, I’m not going to be the first person in America or professional sports that [has] had no doubt and it didn’t work.”

Johnson can lay a foundation, build a relationship now. The real work comes during free agency and trade windows in the future (whenever those are after the lockout). D-Will is very competitive. He wants to win. If the Nets prove he can do that in Brooklyn, they will get his signature. And then Johnson’s confidence can seem prophetic.

How Deron Williams almost became a Knick (instead of ‘Melo)

Deron Williams, Avery Johnson, Billy King

If the Denver Nuggets front office had gotten their wishes — if they could have traded Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors and picks rather than to New York — then Deron Williams would be a Knick today.

In one of the infinite alternate universes that is the reality, but in this one just consider the story Sam Amick tells at NBA Confidential a fun postscript on the Melodrama.

As (Jazz GM Kevin) O’Connor told (Knicks president Donnie) Walsh approximately an hour before the game and would later repeat in an interview with NBA Confidential, he targeted the Nets’ and Knicks’ assets and decided to play the waiting game. Somebody would lose in the Anthony sweepstakes, and that team would immediately hear from O’Connor to discuss a marvelous Plan B….

While Walsh is certainly thrilled to land Anthony, he admitted the notion of landing Williams would have been appealing had he known he was on the market. Asked if things might have turned out differently if he was privy to that information, Walsh said with a shrug when asked by NBA Confidential, “it might have.”

O’Conner said the very public way the Nuggets went about this process was part of what allowed him to track what was and was not available when he would call.

Knicks fans love what they have with Anthony, but would Williams have been a better fit with Amar’e Stoudemire and in the Mike D’Antoni offense?

We’ll never know. Consider it a bit of fan fiction if you want.

Go read the story, which has a lengthy Q&A with O’Conner that includes some thoughts about where the Jazz go from here.

Deron Williams to miss next two games for birth of child

New Jersey Nets' Deron Williams (C) drib
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It’s one of those little things we tend not to think about when breaking down trades — Deron Williams life was uprooted and he was shipped across the country while his wife was 8 months pregnant. If you’ve ever had a pregnant wife, you can imagine with me just how well this news might have gone over.

He’s now going to miss the Nets next couple of games to be home with his wife as she gives birth to their child, according to a tweet from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Those games are against the Clippers and Warriors. This is Williams’ fourth child.

There is an upside for the Nets — allowing Williams to rest his two sore wrists for a couple days.

Jordan Farmar will get the start and the big minutes while Williams is out.

The Nets have a cornerstone, now the building starts

Deron Williams presser

There is — for the first time in recent memory — a palpable buzz about a New Jersey Nets game Friday.

That’s what bringing in a superstar can do. And the Nets got a superstar in Deron Williams. Knicks fans flip out at the idea, but the Nets got the better player, they bested the Knicks in deadline trades. Not the bigger name, not the better pure scorer, but the Nets got the better player. The better defender, the better guy at setting up teammates and lifting them up, the better leader.

Now they have to keep him. What the Knicks are is further along in the rebuilding process.

The Nets just got a cornerstone, but they are just starting out building. There is a lot to do. They are not contenders, they are not even good yet.

The first step is to see if the arrival of Williams elevates Brook Lopez. He was the guy touted as a building block who this season has regressed, coming into camp off a bout of mononucleosis and looking like he was playing with it all season (he has been better the last couple weeks). He also seems to have a natural allergic reaction to rebounding. He’s got a big bag of offensive skills, he could be dangerous on the 1/5 pick-and-roll with Williams, but his game has got to continue on the arc it was the past few seasons, not the one from the first half of this season. And mix in a few boards.

That’s two spots. Two key spots. But the rest of the roster… needs some work, let’s say.

Anthony Morrow could be a quality starting two who teams have to cover out at the arc. After that, Lakers cast-offs Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic are backups on a good team. Pretty much as you go down the line these are guys you want coming off the bench. If you want them coming in at all.

The good news is the Nets have picks and a lot of cap room (how much depends on what the new collective bargaining agreement looks like), they are in a good position to remake this roster. D-Will is an attraction, but the feeling will be that free agents will not want to come unless Williams commits to a longer deal, and Williams will not want to commit to a longer deal unless the free agents come.

There is a lot of work to do. But the Nets took a big first step. They should celebrate and enjoy the buzz tonight. Then get to work. Because there is a lot to do.

Video: Avery Johnson, Billy King talk getting Deron Williams

Mavericks Johnson Fired  Basketball
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Nets coach Avery Johnson is excited. It’s a little tough to tell because he actually always talks like that, but he is.

He should be, as should GM Billy King. They now have one of the games elite point guards in an increasingly guard-driven league. They have a cornerstone to start building around.

But rather than me telling you what they think, listen to them tell you.